Despite the ongoing threat of cyber attacks, security awareness training remains a major challenge for management teams. Identifying what training needs to be delivered, who needs to be trained and a lack of employee engagement are all common obstacles that organisations face when it comes to implementing security awareness training.
Ultimately, security is a people problem. Humans are often a key target for cybercrime and cyber attacks are continuing to increase in size, sophistication and cost. Infact, studies show 90% of data breaches are caused by human error.
Phishing in particular is a hugely popular technique designed to take advantage of low levels of user security awareness, accounting for a third of all data breaches in 2019.
Last year, more than 4 billion records were compromised, making 2019 the worst year on record for data breaches. Unfortunately, 2020 is also on pace to be a devastating year for data breaches with companies such as Marriott, Nintendo and Easyjet experiencing the crippling consequences of a cyber attack.
Most recently, Twitter declared it had fallen victim to a coordinated social engineering attack which saw the accounts of politicians, celebrities, and tech moguls send out tweets offering to pay a sender double any payment they made to a Bitcoin wallet address. The hackers also reset the passwords of 45 of the 130 accounts targeted.
Today, any lapse in Cyber Security can have real repercussions for organisations.One simple error can lead to serious damage for both the individual and the company, who must report the incident to regulators as well as their customers. The cost of a data breach has never been higher, and customers are increasingly willing to walk away from businesses and platforms that can’t protect their data. As a result, the risk for many companies is too great to ignore.
What is Security Awareness Training?
Security awareness training educates employees about the Cyber Security landscape. Using a range of learning methods, security awareness training helps to raise awareness if Cyber Security threats, reduce the risks associated with cyber attacks and embed a culture of security compliance in your organisation.
All employees, at every level of the organisation should receive security awareness training to ensure they have the skills required to identify an attack. Cyber awareness training should be engaging and informative to ensure that staff understand what is required of them and the importance of their role in safeguarding the organisation’s sensitive data.
Benefits of Security Awareness Training
The key challenge for organisations is how to tackle the ever changing threat landscape. Security awareness training is the best place to start. By training your staff with the information required to recognise and react to cyber threats, this will mitigate risk and embed a culture of Cyber Security awareness.
Security awareness training helps organisations to:
- Enhance organisational resilience against cyber threats
- Create a shift in employee mindset and behaviour change
- Generate buy-in and commitment towards Cyber Security initiatives
- Improve audit results and demonstrate regulatory compliance
- Reduce human error and mitigate security risks
Implementing Security Awareness Training
With regulators and auditors seeking evidence of your awareness activities, the key is to simply get started with your security awareness training program. A high tech solution is not always necessary with tactics such as cyber awareness posters proving to be extremely effective and easy to produce.
When thinking about putting together a security awareness training program, bear in mind that most people spend very little, if any, time thinking about this issue. Cyber Security is a tough subject to make interesting. However, it’s the responsibility of the organisation to make its security communications palatable and even enjoyable, if possible, for their employees. Obtaining user participation in your cyber awareness programs is one of the key measures of success.
Seven Tips for Successful Security Awareness Training
Here are seven tips to help you successfully implement security awareness training in your organisation:
Start with CEO Leadership
Cyber Security is everyone’s responsibility, but resilient organisations have strong CEO leadership. If the CEO is taking Cyber Security seriously, this will permeate throughout the organisation and help create a culture of enhanced Cyber Security awareness.
Know Your Organisational Tolerances
Taking time to properly identify the risks can help shape the messaging, delivery and effective targeting of your Cyber Security awareness program.
Defend Your Information Assets
You need to determine what your most valuable information assets are, where they’re located, and who has access to them. Every asset should be classified (for example, public, private or confidential) and protected based on its value. Doing so is crucial when identifying risks and prioritising the areas that need to be defended.
Make It Engaging with Storytelling
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your Cyber Security awareness campaign. Face it, Cyber Security can be a dry topic, but it’s vital you find ways to engage your staff if you want to positively impact behaviour within your organisation. The message is just too important to get lost in formal, corporate communications
Get Your Policy Management Up To Date
Policies are crucial in establishing boundaries of behaviour for individuals, processes, relationships and transactions within your organisation. They provide a framework of governance, identify risk and help define compliance, which is important in today’s increasingly complex regulatory landscape.
Start Preparing for a Data Breach Now
It’s no longer a matter of ‘if’ your organisation is going to be attacked, but ‘when’. You need to start preparing for the inevitable and put a plan in place that ensures appropriate and timely action when security is breached.
Automate your Security Awareness Training
Automate your entire 12-month security awareness training and manage the appropriate delivery of key elements to the right audience at the right time. Having an automated approach to security awareness training allows for the audit information to be recorded to support regulatory defence that could be required in the event of a breach or an audit. These elements should include a combination of tailored eLearning, critical policies, relevant blogs, simulated phishing emails, risk assessments and surveys.
The Ultimate Guide to Security Awareness Training
Cyber Security Awareness for Dummies acts as an indispensable resource for implementing behavioural change and creating a culture of cyber awareness.
In this guide, you will learn:
- What Cyber Security awareness means for your organisation
- How to implement a cyber risk awareness campaign
- The critical role of policies to establish safe baselines
- How to maintain momentum and staff engagement
- 10 Cyber Security awareness best practices